Cloaks #1 (BOOM!)



Rating: 4/5 – Great Mix of Street Magic & Action/Intrigue.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

I love magic.  I know they are tricks and I really don’t want to know how they are specifically done, just that when done well they dazzle and amaze the audience.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit Los Angeles’ famous Magic Castle several times in my life, most recently earlier this year in the company of friends who are members and were kind enough to invite me and my wife (admission is for members and invited guests only).  An evening of magical wonderment ensued.  I loved the TV series The Magician starring Bill Bixby back in the 1970s (right around when I was first discovering comics).  I’ve been recently enjoying the US airings of the British TV series Penn & Teller: Fool Us.  Another show with magic but also about magic, and most importantly, no spoilers!

This issue starts out with the reader being introduced to the masked street magician “The Kid” as he performs an impromptu show in New York’s Bowling Green Park.  We get to know The Kid aka Adam D’Aquino through his a series of scenarios laid out by writer Caleb Monroe and I really got to care about the character in a very short time.  By the time I hit the staple, I was bought into Adam and rooting for him.  I cared about him.  Anyone who has been reading my reviews for a while knows this is key to me continuing with a series.  I need to be made to care about what happens to the characters, so successful debut issue for Monroe on this front.  Artist Mariano Navarro delivered art with a clean art line ably carried the story from start to finish.  Nice body language, facial expressions, and panel-to-panel storytelling.

Cloaks is a story that combines magic of the “stage magician” variety (as opposed to Dr. Strange/Zatanna “supernatural magic”) with action and intrigue. While I’ve long been a fan of magic, I never studied magic, so it was here that I learned the six basic magic effects: Vanish, Production, Simulation, Escape, Penetration, and Prediction.  These limited effects can be combined to create any magic trick or act.  The trick in this issue was making me care about the characters, and want to come back for more.  To do this Monroe combined the 3 storytelling effects of: solid setup/establishing the characters, story hook, and cliffhanger.   Viola!  Trick accomplished!  I’m looking forward to reading the second issue!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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